Workshop – SD40 rebuilds on the BC Northern

Well, we are well into the current century and I do have two classic SD40 units on my Roster. The problem with these first generation SD40 is, that none of the original units survived into the timeframe of my freelance model railroad. So I looked through the web for real life examples of classic SD40 units that retained their carbodies and were upgraded to SD40-2 standards.

I found that CSX ran a major rebuild programme for these engines and predecessor railroad Conrails engines that are today listed as SD40-2 but are in reality SD40u in my opinion, for retaining the original carbody, chassis and flexicoil trucks. Great news. Some of these units were retired or traded in, but a lot of them are still in service (mostly as yard engines). So they are quite good candidates for my freelance railway.

BC Northern SD40Wu / SD23T4

BC Northern SD40Wu are basically units aquired from CSX or the rebuilding companies (M-K and Huntington), which might still be upgraded with Canadian Safety Cabs at BCN’s (fictional) Stewart shops. The unusual designation is for reference purposes only, with the „W“ indicating a „wide cab“ and the „u“ indicating an „upgraded“ engine.

The first model I rebuild was my „testbed“ loco, shown elsewhere on this site, which I used to test my Canadian Comfort Cabs from shapeways (I don’t offer these anymore). The Loco never saw service, as the idea of an SD40W seemed unlikely at that time. Which just changed. So the following two locos will be rebuild the more modern standards. They will also receive BCNs blue and silver-grey paint scheme.

I’ll post renderings of the future Locos as soon as I have them.

As the SD40 turned 50 a short while ago and the sheer numbers of this venerable loco in service, rebuild programmes of the other kind are about to emerge, with one of the latest being the ET23DSC or SD23T4, utilizing a GE/Wabtec GEVO i6 Marine Diesel Prime Mover repowering the units to 2300 hp within th emodern Tier 4 emmission standards. Some of my material might go this route to. I’ll keep you posted.